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At the Rink: Predators at Hurricanes

by Kurt Dusterberg

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Eddie Lack will make his second straight start in goal for the Carolina Hurricanes against the Nashville Predators on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; FSN-TN, FS-CR).

Lack made 30 saves in Carolina's 4-2 win over the Washington Capitals on New Year's Eve, lifting his record to 4-0-1 in the past five games.

"Eddie's been good," coach Bill Peters said. "His process is better, he's bigger, he's playing a little further out, I think. He's feeling good about himself. So we will go back to Eddie and see how he does here tonight."

The Hurricanes (16-17-5) have won three of four since the Christmas break, including a 2-1 road victory against the Chicago Blackhawks.

"They've beaten some good teams recently," Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said. "We always have to worry a bit more about ourselves than we do the opposition, but they're possessing the puck, they're fast, they generate a lot of offense and they're pretty tight defensively."

In the final game of a three-game road trip, Nashville (18-13-7) is looking to bounce back from a 5-1 loss against the Dallas Stars. The Predators, currently in the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference, know they can't afford many slips in the highly competitive Central Division.

"We're definitely in the grind and pushing toward the playoffs, so you've got to be on your toes every game," said James Neal, who leads the team with 15 goals. "As tough as it is, I think it's good for you. You're going to need that in the playoffs. Carolina has beaten some good teams. You've got to respect that they're a good hockey club."

Pekka Rinne, who is 5-1-0 against Carolina, will start in goal. He is 0-6-2 on the road since Nov. 5.

Here are the projected lineups:


Filip Forsberg - Mike Ribeiro - Craig Smith

Viktor Arvidsson - Mike Fisher - James Neal

Colin Wilson- Calle Jarnkrok - Cody Hodgson

Eric Nystrom - Paul Gaustad - Miikka Salomaki

Roman Josi - Shea Weber

Barret Jackman - Seth Jones

Mattias Ekholm - Ryan Ellis

Pekka Rinne

Carter Hutton

Scratched: Anthony Bitetto, Petter Granberg, Austin Watson

Injured: Gabriel Bourque (undisclosed)


Kris Versteeg - Eric Staal - Elias Lindholm

Jeff Skinner - Victor Rask - Phillip Di Giuseppe

Joakim Nordstrom - Jordan Staal - Andrej Nestrasil

Chris Terry - Jay McClement - Riley Nash

John-Michael Liles - Justin Faulk

Jaccob Slavin - Ron Hainsey

Noah Hanifin - Brett Pesce

Eddie Lack

Cam Ward

Injured: James Wisniewski (knee), Nathan Gerbe (lower body)

Scratched: Brad Malone, Michal Jordan

Status report: Hodgson returns to the Nashville lineup after sitting out three games, taking the place of Watson.

Who's hot: Ribeiro has eight assists in the past six games. ... Eric Staal has three goals in two games. ... Versteeg has three assists in two games.

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